The owners of over three million Florida homes can now access HERO residential financing to pay for energy and efficiency improvements that may lower their utility bills as well as exterior upgrades that can protect their properties from severe storm damage.
HERO, the nation’s leading form of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, empowers property owners to make energy-efficiency, renewable-energy and hurricane-resiliency improvements to their homes with no money down. Homeowners then pay for the upgrades over terms of up to 25 years at a competitive, fixed interest rate via an additional, voluntary line item on their property taxes. HERO, which stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, is a public-private partnership between participating Florida cities and counties, the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) and Renovate America.
HERO launched in Florida in Summer 2017, and is now available in more than 100 communities across the state. With this most recent expansion, more than 300,000 homes in the following communities are now eligible:
- Miami-Dade County, Unincorporated
- Village of El Portal
- City of North Miami
- Levy County, Unincorporated
“Here in Miami-Dade, storm resiliency is a top concern for local homeowners, and we’re proud to make this innovative option available to residents,” said Miami-Dade commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who sponsored legislation to implement PACE in the County. “PACE is a clear win-win for our community as it empowers property owners to strengthen their homes, save energy and boost the local economy – ultimately putting our economic, environmental and resiliency goals within reach.”
“HERO is proud of our record of protecting homeowners throughout every stage of the improvement process and looks forward to delivering that same high level of care to residents in these new communities,” said Mike Antheil, senior director of market development for Renovate America, which administers HERO. “HERO is laser-focused on giving homeowners security and peace of mind as they invest in their properties, increase their home’s energy performance and prepare for future storms.”
HERO’s industry-leading consumer protections go beyond those found with other forms of home-improvement financing. To help homeowners easily understand their financing terms before they finalize their contracts, HERO provides homeowners with written disclosures modeled on the federal “Know-Before-You-Owe” forms for mortgage lending and confirms terms with all customers in a live, recorded call (available in Spanish). Additionally, all contractors who make HERO-financed improvements have agreed to not receive payment until the homeowner confirms they are satisfied with the finished project. HERO’s data-driven Contractor Quality Rating (CQR) system incentivizes excellent service and behavior among HERO-registered contractors and removes those who can’t or won’t meet the program’s standards.
Eligible HERO improvements in Florida include those that can prepare homes for future storms—such as wind-resistant roof-to-wall connections, impact-resistant windows and doors, and storm shutters—as well as products that allow for greater energy independence or that may help lower utility bills, like rooftop solar and high-efficiency air conditioning systems.
To date, the improvements financed nationwide through HERO are projected to save homeowners billions of dollars on their utility bills while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by millions of tons. Many homeowners who use PACE financing also report lower insurance premiums, and safer, more comfortable homes.
Florida homeowners who want to see if HERO is right for their home should visit www.renovateamerica.com/financing/hero/communities. Local contractors interested in learning more about HERO should visit www.renovateamerica.com/contractors.
News item from Renovate America